Alum Michael R. Molla Installed as President of Pennsylvania College of Art & Design

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Michael MoNa, Vice President Strategic Initiatives at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has been selected by the Board of Trustees as the next President of Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, according to Robert Brandt, Chair of the PCA&D Board of Trustees. He is expected to take the helm of the College on July 1, 2018, replacing retiring President Mary Colleen HeiI.


Michael R. Molla. the third President of Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, has always used his creativity to make sense of the world. As a youth. he spent his time thinking, making. and make-believing. His imagination has served him well, leading him to seek creative connection and push for greater possibilities.

Molla knows the value of micro-colleges like PCA&D, small. focused, personal collcgcs that emphasize individual students needs, active learning, and mentorship. His Alma Mater, Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts. was such a college. It profoundly shapcd his own creative arts education. He credits his success to his family and his partner, Brad, who embrace his creative view of life. Molla gives special acknowledgement to his art department chairperson Ralph Parente and Dean of Students Hollie Ingraham, who were his mentors and advisers. Mr. Parente, now in his 90s. continues to serve as a touchstone and inspiration to Molla.

Molla also recognizes the value of artists and designers in leading and shaping their worN. Molla scrved at Maryland Institute Collegc of Art for 26 ycars, leading the College in the areas of student affairs, operations, and strategic initiatives. As the Associate Vice President, Student Affairs, he launched MICA’s first residence life program. lie also established a studcnt affairs division for the College, which included on-site counseling and healthcare services, as well as diversity and safety initiatives. As Vice President of Operations, Molla was responsible for the development of the Campus Master Plan, including the design and construction of residential facilities. numerous academic, studio, and shop spaces., a ccnter for graduate education and most recently. an undergraduate design center. As Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Molla was responsible for strcngthcning the relationship between MICA and the City of Baltimore, including facilitating new urban initiatives to engage the community in support of the arts and expanding opportunities to city residents.

Molla set a goal for himself as soon as he arrived on campus: to meet, learn fi’om. and meaningfully interact with 100 people in 100 days: community leaders, students, parents, business leaders, college presidents, artists, designers, and Laneastrians from all walks of life. This was a tall order, on top of opening the 2018-19 school year. learning his way about the campus and the town, and moving to Lancaster. This effort has given him the broadest perspective and foundation on which to begin his tenure.

Molla is excited about the contributions and collaborations possible with an arts college nestled in the heart of a creative city like Lancaster. He looks forward to this new future, together.

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